So we've been home this past 11 months, on furlough, and we head back to Malawi in six weeks. In many ways it has been a year much like the one four years ago. Precious time spent with so many friends and family. And many, many unexpected blessings.
In coming back this year we were planning on fundraising, spending a lot of time with people, traveling a bit, and doing some school. One of the things we didn't expect was me helping coach soccer at San Ramon Valley High School, home of the Wolves. If you were at our wedding, you probably remember Don Busboom, who officiated the ceremony. Well he just happens to be a teacher and coach along with serving on the pastoral staff at San Ramon Presbyterian Church. So when we got back to Danville, Don asked if I'd help him out with the varisty boys soccer team at San Ramon. So SRV has been very successful over the past 19 years, winning section title and making it to multiple finals. Informal lifting started in September, and tryouts in November. I couldn't wait to get to practice every day and go to our games at night. I learned so much from Coach Don and Coach Wondo (yeah, Chris Wondolowski's dad from the Quakes in MLS). The guys are great, and we had a lot of fun together. I enjoyed the opportunity to train and encourage during practice, and get to know the guys each as uniquely gifted players and people. Secondary on the list of awesomeness was the fact that we played great and made it all the way to the finals. In that game we lost to the four-time defending champs in a game that we easily should have won. Even with a loss in our last game, it was a special year and a special group of guys. Like doing youth ministry in 2007-2008, coaching soccer was something unexpected that ended up being one of the highlights of our year at home.
Yami loved going to our games, and his favorite cheer was "Go Wolves." He got his first pair of cleats from one of the players on the team, Carter. I'm looking forward to getting to follow the progress of the team next year, and staying in touch with the guys heading off to college.